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  1. #1
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    Anybody had an ankle fusion?

    After years of ankle pain, I went to see an ankle specialist. I had x rays and then a cat-scan, My ankle doesn't track in the proper groove anymore, but there isn't enough cartilage left to try to correct the alignment. I also have bone spurs that irritate my tendons, but he doesn't think I would get much relief from just debrieding them. It sounds like an ankle fusion is somewhere in my future. Does anyone have any experience with this? I am curious how it would be for a cyclist. Also for hiking and skiing. I have already had a knee replacement and that has been o.k. I am 65 and recently retired. I am very active and don't want to slow down, but arthritis sucks.

  2. #2
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    I'm 58 and had a micro fracture procedure on my left ankle 3 years ago. It took about two years but this procedure has given me a lot of relief. My condition was cartilage damage but the underlying bone surfaces were still in good condition. I gave up running and tennis to preserve what cartilage I have left. I see the micro fracture as a bridge that gets me to another procedure down the road. There have been a lot of new developments in the area of cartilage repair/restoration recently (PRP treatments, stem cell injections, allograft transfer, etc). Fusion is permanent and I don't know how that would impact your ability to cycle. For skiing (XC and downhill) I don't see ankle mobility being that important. Have you considered a ankle replacement procedure? I don't think they're as far along as knee, hip, and shoulder devices but there are several options. The downside to a replacement is you need to limit your activity. I think if you fuse the ankle the resulting joint should be very string albeit without full articulation. Arthritis does suck. Good luck with your decision.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your reply. I had micro fracture on my knee and wasn't very happy with the results. I just wore it out too fast. I spent my career delivering foodservice and even healthy joints get worked way too hard running 300# loads down ramps and stairs. I did speak to my ortho about ankle replacements, he does do them, but they don't usually last more than 10 years and they can't be re-done. There isn't enough bone left after the procedure to hold a second attempt so you end up with a below knee amputation. I asked about stem cell treatments and his reply was not promising and not covered by insurance. I am setting up an appointment for a second opinion. I still believe I can get some relief if they remove the bone spurs. Maybe an injection to reduce inflammation. The ankle still has good range of motion, it is just painful, and has too much lateral motion.

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